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Marine Log

July 8, 2008

Jeanne M. Grasso elected WISTA USA President


Jeanne M. Grasso has been elected President of the Women's International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) USA.

Established in 1974, WISTA is an international organization that represents and supports women in management positions in the maritime industry.

As President of WISTA USA, Ms. Grasso will serve as a member of the six-person elected board, which includes: Vice President Linda Turnbow (Ocean Shipholdings, Inc.); Treasurer Kathleen Haines (formerly of OMI Corporation); Membership Secretary Parker Harrison (American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association, Inc.); Recording Secretary Julie D. Kuchta (Bowen, Miclette & Britt); and National WISTA Association liaison, Mary T. Reilly (Hill, Betts & Nash, LLP).

"I am extremely proud and energized to be heading this important industry association for women," stated Ms. Grasso. "Our industry is facing a shortage of personnel and with one half of the potential workforce being women, the opportunities are immense. WISTA helps promote the industry and the role of women in it--one of our goals is to promote more women into the ranks of senior management."

Ms. Grasso, who is well known to many MARINE LOG readers as a speaker at several MARINE LOG conferences, has held leadership positions in various maritime organizations.

She is a guest lecturer at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, where she speaks on legal issues related to pollution response for the Academy's OPA 90 Qualified Individual training program.

Ms. Grasso is on the Board of Governors of the Propeller Club of Washington, DC, and a member of the Maritime Law Association. She also has been appointed to the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

At Blank Rome, she is a Partner focusing her practice on maritime, environmental, and transportation law for domestic and international clients. Ms. Grasso counsels owners and operators of vessels, cargo owners, and facilities, both marine-side and inland.

Ms. Grasso writes and lectures extensively on criminal enforcement of environmental laws, Coast Guard regulatory matters, and maritime security. She also conducts training sessions and assists clients with establishing compliance programs in an effort to avoid enforcement actions.

Ms. Grasso heads up the firm's Maritime Industry Team, comprised of 45 attorneys from all offices and practice areas providing full-service business and legal advice to the maritime industry.

On October 15-17 of this year, WISTA USA will be hosting the WISTA Annual Conference in New Orleans. The 2008 Conference will host over 200 international and national delegates with plenary sessions covering the most pressing issues faced by the industry today.

This is only the second time in 35 years that the International Conference will be held in the United States -- last year's conference was held in Denmark, with Singapore the venue for 2006. The 2009 International Conference will be held in London.

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